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Garum was a fermented fish sauce used as a condiment in the cuisines of ancient Greece, Rome, and Byzantium. Liquamen was a similar preparation, and at times the two were synonymous. Although it enjoyed its greatest popularity in the Roman world, the sauce was earlier used by the Greeks. The Romans thought the Latin word garum derived from the Greek garos, a fish from which it was supposed to have been originally made, but this fish-name is unknown in classical Greek.


Mosaic depicting a "Flower of Garum" jug with a titulus reading "from the workshop of  Scaurus"

Garum was produced in various grades consumed by all social classes. After the liquid garum was ladled off of the top of the mixture, the remains of the fish, called allec or alec, was used by the poorest classes to flavour their staple porridge or polenta. The finished product—the nobile garum of Martial's epigram was apparently mild and subtle in flavor. The best garum fetched extraordinarily high prices, and salt could be substituted for a simpler dish. Garum appears in most of the recipes featured in the Roman cookbook Apicius.

In the 1st century AD, liquamen was a sauce distinct from garum, as indicated throughout the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum IV. By the 5th century or earlier, however, liquamen had come to refer to garum. The available evidence suggests that the sauce was typically made by crushing the innards of (fatty) pelagic fishes, particularly anchovies, but also sprats, sardines, mackerel or tuna, and then fermenting them in brine. In most surviving tituli picti inscribed on amphorae, where the fish ingredient is shown, the fish is mackerel.

When mixed with wine (oenogarum, a popular Byzantine sauce), vinegar, black pepper, or oil, garum enhances the flavor of a wide variety of dishes, including boiled veal and steamed mussels, even pear-and-honey soufflé. Diluted with water (hydrogarum) it was distributed to Roman legions. Pliny remarked that it could be diluted to the colour of honey wine and drunk.

Read More at Wikipedia.
How to make Garum Sauce see Here and Here.

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